Title: A Conceptual Model for Developing Interoperability Specifications in Spatial Data Infrastructures
Authors: TOTH KatalinPORTELE ClemensILLERT AndreasLUTZ MichaelNUNES DE LIMA Maria
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC69484
ISBN: 978-92-79-22551-2 (print)
978-92-79-22552-9 (PDF)
ISSN: 1018-5593 (print)
1831-9424 (online)
Other Identifiers: EUR 25280 EN
OPOCE LB-NA-25280-EN-C (print); LB-NA-25280-EN-N (online)
URI: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/jrc/index.cfm?id=2540
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC69484
DOI: 10.2788/20697
10.2788/21003
Type: JRC Reference Reports
Abstract: This report addresses the question of how geographic and environmental information created and maintained by different organisations in Europe can be embedded in Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) and reused in various applications by different people. The main challenge related to this task is to deal with the heterogeneity of data managed by others. The core concept of SDIs is interoperability, which “means the possibility for spatial data sets to be combined and for services to interact, without repetitive manual intervention, in such a way that the result is coherent and the added value of the data sets and services is enhanced”. INSPIRE, which is used as the main SDI initiative from which this report draws its examples and best practices, is built on the existing standards, information systems and infrastructures, professional and cultural practices of 27 Member States of the European Union in more than 23 languages. The main part of this report describes the conceptual framework for the development of interoperability specifications that define the targets to which existing data should be transformed. The conceptual framework is composed of two fundamental parts: the Generic Conceptual Model (GCM) and the methodology for data specification development. The GCM defines 26 aspects or elements for achieving data interoperability in an SDI. These include registers and registries, coordinate reference systems, identifier management, metadata, maintenance, to name just a few. The description of the methodology for developing data specifications for interoperability includes a detailed discussion of the relevant actors, steps and the overall workflow – from capturing user requirements to documenting and testing the specifications that emerge from this process. The GCM and the methodology together help to understand the organisational and technical aspects how the data component of an SDI can be established, how interoperability arrangements, data standardisation and harmonisation contribute to this process. Since 2005 INSPIRE has been pioneering the introduction, development, and application of a conceptual framework for establishing the data component in an SDI. This experience shows that the conceptual framework described in this report is robust enough to reinforce interoperability across the 34 data specifications developed for the infrastructure. Moreover, because the framework is platform and theme independent, able to deal with the cultural diversity, and based on best practice examples from Europe and beyond, it may provide solutions for SDI challenges in other environments too.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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